Cannabis legalization in Canada has gone well so far for the most part. However, as North America begins to come to terms with a plant that’s been prohibited for so many decades, the adjustment is also a tricky one.
The final stages of cannabis legalization are in place in Canada, as cannabis edibles are set to become legal within a few months. However, some provincial authorities, like those in Quebec, take a more conservative view on the legalization process. And while there are certainly valid arguments on both sides, the government in Quebec just preemptively banned the sale of THC-infused edibles, as well as THC topicals, in a bid to prevent products that may appeal to minors from reaching the market.
According to the new measures, any cannabis edibles with 5mg of THC per unit (or 10mg per pack) is permitted, but that doesn’t include gummy bears and other products that are potentially attractive to kids. The new provincial regulations also call for THC-infused skin creams to be banned “until further notice.”
Federally in Canada, cannabis edibles are capped at 10mg THC per pack. When it comes to THC topicals, that cap is 1,000mg. At the same time, the new regulations prohibit any cannabis products from being specifically appealing to children and are not allowed to make health claims about the products.
Cannabis extracts are also firmly in the sights of the Quebec authorities who have banned the use of “sweeteners and colorants, or ingredients that could increase the appeal of cannabis extracts.” While cannabis edibles officially become legal in Canada on October 17, it will take at least a couple of months for products to be rolled out and to hit the shelves.
An official statement from the Health Ministry of Quebec alleges that the federal rules on cannabis edibles and topicals are too relaxed and are not acceptable. The ban, however, covers mainly pre-prepared THC-infused products such as brownies and cupcakes. THC oils and butter infusions, on the other hand, will not be banned as they’re not considered to appeal to children. In essence, sweet products or those that kids might enjoy are in the spotlight while savory THC products are not.
Quebec is by far the most troubled province in Canada when it comes to cannabis legalization. They want to raise the minimum age for cannabis consumption to 21 and to ban its use entirely in public spaces. That proposal was dropped, but local municipalities have the right to impose their own rules and regulations to a degree.
It remains to be seen how legalization in Canada will go over the next few years. And while some of the regulations imposed in Quebec may affect some people in a limited way, there always remains the option for Canadians to bake their own THC edibles at home, and that could lead to precisely the type of issues the government in Quebec are trying to avert.